16 takeaways from Bears’ second day of mandatory minicamp:

The Chicago Bears returned to Halas Hall for their second practice of mandatory minicamp, and there was no shortage of storylines on Day 2.

Despite the excruciating heat, the Bears were back on the practice field as their offseason program winds to a close.

There was plenty to unpack following Wednesday’s practice, including quarterback Justin Fields’ strong day, rookies making plays, more shifting along the offensive line and some notable absences on Day 2.

Chicago has one more practice on Thursday before breaking for the summer and returning in late July for training camp.

Here’s what we learned from the second day of Bears minicamp:

Justin Fields had his best practice of minicamp:

AP Photo / Nam Y. Huh:

Justin Fields had a rocky outing during Tuesday’s practice, but he bounced back with a strong performance on Day 2 of minicamp. Matt Eberflus praised Fields for his “really nice day,” where he singled out his timing and precision in leading the offense, as well as his accuracy.

At one point, Fields ended the 7-on-7 portion of practice with eight completions to a number of his weapons. But his chemistry with Darnell Mooney is already showing itself on the practice field, as three of those completions were to Mooney.

It’s been a rough offseason for Fields, which is to be expected. He’s learning a new offense and working with a ton of new receivers. Eberflus pointed to the lack of play-action for the reason for Fields’ struggles during non-padded practices, and he expects things to change in training camp.

Bears had three rookies working with starting offensive line:

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports:

There’s been plenty of movement along the offensive line this offseason as the Bears look to find the right combination heading into the 2022 season. Rookie Braxton Jones has been working at left tackle with the starters dating back to the final week of organized team activities and now minicamp. But he was not the only rookie working with the starters on Wednesday.

The Bears had not one, but three rookies who played with the first-team offense at some point on Day 2 of minicamp – Jones at left tackle, Zachary Thomas at left guard and center Doug Kramer. Basically, the entire left side of the line.

Left guard Cody Whitehair had an excused absence from Wednesday’s practice, and center Lucas Patrick did not participate during the team drills.

With that in mind, the Bears starting offensive line is expected to feature all veterans – Whitehair, Patrick, Larry Borom, Teven Jenkins and possibly Sam Mustipher. Still, it was a good experience for the young rookies.

Robert Quinn still isn’t at practice:

AP Photo / Duane Burleson:

The big storyline from the first practice of Bears mandatory minicamp is star pass rusher Robert Quinn’s absence. And it was more of the same on Wednesday, where Quinn was once again a no-shot.

Unlike Whitehair’s absence, Quinn’s isn’t excused.

Teammate Trevis Gipson offered his support of Quinn, saying he wants Quinn to do what’s best for himself. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Quinn has been training on his own.

Kyler Gordon did not practice again:

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports:

Once again, rookie cornerback Kyler Gordon did not practice. Eberflus did not provide any update on his status.

For what it’s worth, Gordon was: spotted riding an exercise bike: during Tuesday’s practice, an indication he might’ve suffered an injury and the team is playing it safe.

Bears offense was much improved on Day 2:

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports:

A struggling offense is nothing new for Bears fans, and that’s been a theme this offseason. But for good reason. The team is learning a new scheme under Luke Getsy, which even prompted Fields to say the offense is not ready yet.

Following a rough practice on Day 1 of minicamp, the offense rebounded with a strong performance on Wednesday. Eberflus singled out the greater accuracy.

The offense still has a long way to go before they’re ready to take the field for a game. But they have the summer and preseason to get it together.

Matt Eberflus isn’t afraid to play young players:

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports:

Bears fans are well aware of former head coach Matt Nagy’s aversion to playing younger players. They saw it often last season with Fields not getting a shot to start, as well as Larry Borom and Thomas Graham Jr. not getting valuable reps. Luckily, Eberflus is the antithesis of Nagy.

Eberflus told reporters that he’s not afraid to play younger players, pointing to his background running this defensive scheme.

“We’re not afraid to put young guys in there and let them go and let them play,” he said.

Byron Pringle said his offseason arrest was handled in-house:

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New Bears wide receiver Byron Pringle got off to a disappointing start in his Bears career. Pringle was arrested in Florida for reckless driving without a license with a child in the vehicle back in April.

Pringle declined to comment on the incident, only noting that he went to the Bears front office with the news before it was made public.

“I had talked with coach and: [general manager Ryan] Poles before it hit the media and everything was squared away in-house, ”Pringle said.

Pringle acknowledged that it was not a good first impression he made. But he’s owning up to his actions and coming in to prove himself.

“I’m just a hard-working man,” he said. “I love the game. Things happen. ”

Ryan Griffin thinks Cole Kmet has it all:

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Cole Kmet is entering his third season with the Bears, where he’s looking to take another step forward in his development. Kmet is coming off an encouraging second season, despite the passing offense being among the worst in the NFL.

Kmet’s production nearly doubled from his rookie year. He had 60 receptions for 612 yards but no touchdowns. But he did rank eighth in targets (93) among tight ends, a trend that should continue in 2022.

New Bears tight end Ryan Griffin has been impressed with what he’s seen of Kmet so far, noting he’s been impressed with his skillset.

“He’s got it all. It’d be easier for me to say what he does not have, ”Griffin said. “He’s got the whole bag. Size, versatility, ball skills, want-to in the run game. He’s a helluva player. “

Trevis Gipson says there’s more accountability in place with Eberflus:

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The Bears might have another head coach named Matt, but it is already clear that Matt Eberflus is the antithesis of Matt Nagy in a good way.

Eberflus has already been changing the culture in Chicago, and it’s one of the big things that should help get the Bears back on the winning track.

The team has embracing Eberflus’ expectations and intensity. Defensive end Trevis Gipson told reporters that he likes that there’s more accountability with Eberflus in place.

Griffin is impressed by Fields’ focus and desire to win:

AP Photo / Nam Y. Huh:

Griffin has played with a lot of quarterbacks during his career, and he’s already impressed with what he’s seen from Fields during the offseason program.

The thing that stood out most is Fields’ focus and work ethic.

“He’s the most focused individual I’ve ever been around,” Griffin said. “Determined, hardworking. This guy wants to win and it oozes through every movement he makes out there. ”

Griffin noted that he rarely sees Fields smiling – but it’s not because he’s not having fun. Fields just wants to win so badly.

Gipson believes Dominique Robinson has a better skillset than he did coming in as a rookie:

AP Photo / Nam Y. Huh:

Gipson said that rookie defensive end Dominique Robinson reminds him a lot of himself. Not only are they both under-the-radar fifth-round selections, but they have the same approach for learning.

Gipson actually acknowledged that Robinson is “better than me” at this point coming in as a rookie. He pointed to better pass rush attributes and more experience on the edge.

Robinson, a converted wide receiver, has only been playing the position for two years. His ceiling is incredibly high, and he has an opportunity to make a strong impression coming off the edge.

Teven Jenkins remains at right tackle, but that could change:

AP Photo / Nam Y. Huh:

Former second-round pick Teven Jenkins has been in the headlines as he’s been working with the second-team offense over the last couple of weeks. Following an injury to Dakota Dozier, Chicago is even thinner at the guard position. Which has prompted discussion about the possibility of Jenkins or Larry Borom moving to right guard.

Eberflus said Tuesday that “all combinations are open” on the offensive line. With that said, Jenkins remains at right tackle and “that’s what he’s focusing on” right now.

But he also acknowledged that things could certainly change heading into training camp. Eberflus said he’s scheduled to meet with Poles and his coaching staff to evaluate the roster before the summer break.

Rookie Trestan Ebner had the play of minicamp:

Stephen Spillman-USA TODAY Sports:

There’s been plenty of talk about top draft picks Kyler Gordon, Jaquan Brisker and Velus Jones Jr. making plays during the offseason. But there are other rookies also turning heads. That includes sixth-round running back Trestan Ebner, who had the play of minicamp with a deep ball caught in coverage, according to Mark Grote.

Hopefully the Bears social media team caught that one.

Speaking of rookies, UDFAs Carson Taylor and Jon Alexander had strong days:

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports:

The Bears are a young team, and that includes a new crop of rookies who have been impressing during the offseason. While Ebner had the play of minicamp, he was not alone in making plays on Wednesday.

A pair of undrafted rookies in defensive end Carson Taylor and safety Jon Alexander each had a standout play, per Kevin Fishbain. Taylor had a batted pass at the line of scrimmage during the two-minute drill while Alexander had a pass breakup.

They’re certainly two names to monitor heading into training camp.

Bears trimmed practice by 25 minutes due to excessive heat:

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports:

The weather in Chicago has been excruciating over the last few days, which has impacted Bears minicamp. Temperatures have been in the upper 90s with a heat index in the 100s, and the National Weather Service issued an excessive heat warning.

For that reason, Eberflus explained that practice had been trimmed by 25 minutes both Tuesday and Wednesday.

Rod Marinelli spoke to the team on Wednesday morning:

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports:

Former Bears defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli was in attendance at Tuesday’s minicamp practice, a special invite of Eberflus, who worked with Marinelli for five years in Dallas.

Marinelli met with the team on Wednesday morning, a session that Eberflus described as entertaining.

Eberflus is no stranger to inviting Bears alumni to practice, as Charles Tillman joined the team at rookie minicamp and shared an inspiring message with the new NFL players.

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